Pile height refers to the length of the grass blade above its backing to its tip, a longer pile height gives a lush looking lawn but a smaller pile height will be more resilient as the taller it is the more likely it is to bend and look flat over time. If you are going to place furniture and other objects on your turf a shorter pile maintain a more natural look. Grass experts think the sweet spot for a strong natural looking lawn is between 30-37mm or 25-30mm if you want that freshly cut look. However whichever pile height you choose you will need to brush the turf regularly to keep the blades upright.
The heavier the pile weight the more yarn material per m2 and this the more expensive it will be. As a general rule, the heavier it is (more yarn material) the better it is in terms of hard wearing and resilience especially in heavy traffic areas; as well as making a better, more fuller and thicker looking lawn. But if you’re a on a budget worry not, you can pick a less dense turf and infill with sand, this will increase its longevity and performance.
The heavier the weight of the backing the more strength and hardwearing the grass, as well as better performance in high traffic areas. For a really good quality artificial grass, aim for anything between 2000 – 3000 gr/m2/
PE vs. PP
PE is currently the most suitable material for artificial grass for a variety of reasons including its less rigid so more flexible and less likely to tear. It’s also less vulnerable to UV and heat damage and not colourfast, so the colour does not fade. it’s also a more purer product and prevents bacteria and odour build up as it does not absorb moisture and is UV stable. PE is particularly popular for use in sports fields and gardens whilst PP is a more popular choice for spots fields and laws. Other benefits of PE include soft to touch and great hand feel.
PP is typically found in low end and more inexpensive artificial grass and has issues with colourfastness and UV breakdown unless it is treated first. Typically used in combination with PE for curled glass blades.
Monofilament vs. Fibrillated
Fibrillate grass yarn is made from a sheet of plastic film which is stretched then split into individual narrow tapes. They are then slit in alternating positions to form a strong lattice type yarn, from the side view it resembles a net. Fibrillated yarns are found in cheaper artificial grass and have several drawbacks including they wear and fade faster (tolerance) and have lower resilience due to the repeated separation of the yarn.
Monofilament yarn is a new method that is quickly replacing fibrillated yarn due to its greater tolerance and resilience; it lasts up to 3 times longer than fibrillated yarn. It also has excellent bending resistance which is identical in all directions s no more kinks and tears. Monofilament yarn is made from individual plastic filaments that are twisted or wrapped together during the yarn manufacture process. Monofilament yarn comes in different profiles and thicknesses, the more filaments the stronger and thicker the yarn.
dTex This refers to the weight or thickness of the yarn used. It’s a better to way to tell diameter of the yarn because most yarns aren’t circular in cross section. DTex is the weight in grams of 10 000 linear metres (lm) of yarn. Typical values are between 5. 000 and 18. 000. So, 5.500 dtEx means that the yarn used weighs 5.5kg for 10,000 lm. In simple terms the higher the dtex, the more durable, and long lasting the grass will be.
This is the distance between two rows of threads. The gauge is calculated in inches, where one inch = 2.54cm. Calculated every 8 or 16 lines of tuft yarn, it indicates the number of needles used in manufacture. 3/8” artificial turf means you have 8 lines of yarn over 7.62 cm, (3 x 2.54) or one thread every 0.95cm. The higher the gauge the better the quality.
In a nutshell, more density means more lush looking turf whilst less density will mean sparser, and thin looking turf. The higher the density the more use and foot traffic your turf will withstand.
As a rule of thumb, 13,000 to 16,000 stitches is a cost effective good all rounder. Anything over 16,000 is great for heavy use areas, if in doubt we suggest you go with the highest amount of stitches per m2 that your budget allows for.
A good quality backing will make or break your artificial grass, good quality heavy backing will allow your turf to withstand the elements and all the foot traffic, prevent yarn loss and therefore last longer.
Artificial grass is made up of two layers, known as primary and secondary backing.
The primary backing is the layer of material that the plastic grass thread is stitched to, typically it’s a woven fabric made of polypropylene (PP)
The secondary backing is basically the glue that holds the two backings together, and keeps the grass blades firmly fixed in place. Typically this is a liquid latex mixture that is spread across the back of the primary backing.
Lower quality turf will have less of this latex (you can tell by the weight of the secondary backing, the less weight the less amount of latex) which can result in these two layers separating as well grass and yarn loss as the fibres will separate more easily form the backing, leaving you with a thin and matted turf that looks unnatural.
Colour fastness refers to how much or quickly the colour dye of artificial grass (which is a dyed stained plastic product) will fade when in contact with chemicals and other elements, water etc, not to be confused with UV stability which is about plastic fading in the sunlight (the UV or Ultra Violet radiation in light which can fade the plastic). Colour fastness it is usually tested and reported in two colour scales, blue and grey.
The grey scale measures from 1-5, with 5 being no fading (practically permanent, no colour change) and 1 being very poor colour fastness (lots of fading).
The blue scale measures from 1-8, with 8 being no fading (practically permanent, no colour change) and 1 being very poor colour fastness (lots of fading).
Not all artificial grass is created equal, under heavy or even light UV exposure the yarn on poor quality grass can split or fray, the colour can fade and the strength and performance can start to fail. Quality grass should be UV stabilised so that it can last longer, perform better and maintain its colour.
Not all artificial grass is the same, European grass is way better than grass produced in China because of the better quality of the materials and the advanced manufacturing process and technology investment.
This does mean good quality European grass will cost more upfront, but Chinese will cost you more in the end.
Why? Because European grass will last longer, up to 10 times longer if you consider cheap China grass might be guaranteed for 0-1 years whilst European grass will be guaranteed for up to 10 years!
Worth bearing in mind when you are looking at the square metre price. Currently, Belgium, Holland and Spain are regarded as the leading countries in the manufacture of high quality artificial grass.
The yarn shape (also known as blade profile) refers to the shape of the yarn or blade, (the shape is formed when the plastic material is extruded during manufacture); and it’s actually very important to the durability, feel and lifespan of your artificial grass. Some profiles are better than others.
There are generally two types of profiles, flat and structured. A flat profile is the easiest to make (just a flat extrusion of plastic), thus the cheapest and least long lasting and durable. Structured profiles are the most durable and come in different shapes, common profile shapes are C, V, Y, W and S and again some shapes are more durable than others.
The most durable profile shape is the S profile which offers the best upright strength, whilst staying soft to the touch.
Here’s a little fun experiment for you, take a thin strip of paper and hold out long ways (upright), it folds over doesn’t it? Now form a V, S or C shape, it won’t fold over and it should stay quite soft and springy
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